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Christopher Columbus was one of the most famous explorers who ever lived. His journeys of discovery lead him to stumble across land and set foot in the Americas. Although people already inhabited the area, many still consider him to be the founder of the New World. Whether he discovered the Americas or not, Christopher Columbus’ excursion paved the way for further exploration and the European colonization of North and South America.

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1. The Early Life of Columbus

The early years of Columbus’ life are somewhat a mystery. It’s believed he was born in 1451 on the Italian seaport of Genoa. As a teenager, he found work on a merchant ship and took part in several trading journeys in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. In 1476, his ship was traveling along the Portuguese coast when it was attacked by French pirates. The ship sank, but Columbus managed to swim to shore, eventually making his way to Lisbon.

christopher columbus early years bdsklo / Getty Images
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